Photo Credit: NCHC
Ah North Dakota. The Fighting Hawks. The ultimate villain of college hockey. The talented, sometimes unbeatable villain of a sport with a fanbase that is easy to hate. But dammit all if they aren’t the best team in the country.
You know who they are. You see them everywhere you go, especially during the season. They’re the ones wearing their ugly Kelly green jerseys everywhere they go and make sure you know that they’re fans of the greatest hockey program in the history of the world.
Let’s be honest, though. North Dakota would be way harder to hate if they weren’t good at hockey. Lucky for you, they are really good at this thing called hockey (and only hockey) so you can keep cultivating your hatred.
But hey, in fairness, they were one of the two teams that took part in one of the best games of the entire college hockey season. Yeah, you know the one. The 6-4 DU victory at Magness Arena on February 12th. So at least they’re good for something, right?
Overall Record: 30-5-3
NCHC Record: 21-4-1
Fighting Hawks By The Numbers
Team Offense (National Rank)
Goals Scored: 139 (6th)
Goals per game: 3.66 (7th)
Total Shots on Goal: 1,237 (9th)
Shooting Percentage: 11.2% (6th)
Power Play: 19-149, 19.46% (21st)
Shorthanded Goals Scored: 8 (T6th)
Team Defense (National Rank)
Goals Allowed: 69 (4th)
Goals Allowed per Game: 1.82 (3rd)
Total Shots Against: 950 (9th)
Save Percentage: .927 (7th)
PIM per Game: 11.92 (47th)
Penalty Killing: 123-143, 86% (T8th)
F Brock Boeser: 25G-23A-48P, 1.33 Points per game
F Drake Caggiula: 19G-23A-42P, 7 Game-winning goals
F Nick Schmaltz: 8G-32A-40P, Leads team in assists
F Bryn Chyzyk: 11G-10A-21P, 2 Shorthanded goals
D Troy Stecher: 7G-19A-26P, Top scoring defenseman
G Cam Johnson: 20-3-1 (.854), 1.58 GAA, .938 SV%
- Goalie Cam Johnson had a shutout streak that lasted 298 minutes, 25 seconds. It was the second longest streak in NCAA history and it was snapped by Alabama-Huntsville’s Blaine Lacher.
- UND’s CBS line (Caggiula, Boeser, Schmaltz) has combined for 130 points this year, among the top scoring lines in college hockey.
- Each member of the CBS line is averaging more than a point per game. Boeser: 1.33, Caggiula: 1.27, Schmaltz: 1.29.
- The Hawks have 14 players with 10+ points, though none currently have totals in the 30s.
- Caggiula, UND’s second leading scorer, has a team high 56 PIM.
Despite all of the dislike sent Grand Forks’ way, North Dakota is a great team. The entire roster is extremely talented and the stats show that. This seems to be the theme year in, year out yet UND hasn’t won a national title since 2000 under current UNO head coach Dean Blais.
The CBS line has attracted much national attention and deservedly so. That line is so good and it strikes fear into the heart of every opposing goalie. They score at a crazy rate and consistently leave your jaw on the floor with many of the goals they score.
One of the things that often goes unnoticed with this team because of the Hawks’ incredible offense is their defensive prowess. It’s not all Cam Johnson either. The defense stifles almost everything the opposing offense tries to do. They block shots, they tip passes, they forecheck and backcheck incredibly well.
Essentially, Johnson’s shutout streak, though impressive, wasn’t just because of his talent. A huge reason for his success has been the defensive help his teammates have provided him. Many of the shots he’s faced this year have been from the outside and haven’t tested him the way teams would like to.
North Dakota is very good this year. As usual, they have the talent and the coaching it takes to win a National Championship. They certainly could (and probably should) win the NCHC, but ending the 15 year National Championship drought is certainly what the green and black are focused on this year.